Insomnia, Tea and Centering Oneself

Or, more coherently spoken: 2 things that every woman in my family has in common and 1 new idea.

Insomnia runs in my family pretty strongly. I think that nearly every adult has bouts. Though I happen to have it worse than almost any other. My mom gets bouts just as badly as I do, but not, I think, nearly as frequently as she used to. I suffer pretty badly from it, no doubt not helped along by being a college kid trying to finish 2 term papers while packing to head home too. But that’s just an excuse. My insomnia flares up even when I don’t have a lot of stuff to do. I just have the unfortunate luck of being an insomniac by nature. And I’ve always been more the night owl. I can get up early and go to 8am classes and function and not be a grump, but I really prefer being up at nighttime. I get most of my work done then, I’m far more comfortable, and just generally far more me later in the day. So insomnia is really not helpful when paired with my natural night owl tendencies.

Which leads to present problem. I’ve had in 5 days 2 different times being up for 36+ hours straight. Not tired at all, not really wanting to sleep, etc. And that’s a problem of course, because I can’t really say it is healthy to stay awake for that long and then sleep again. It’s not healthy in the slightest. So today, or rather yesterday the 17th, I crashed at 5pm and slept until 2am this morning (the 18th), after being awake for 36 hours. Not good. Sleeping in the afternoon/evening just messes with me even more than normal, even though I clearly needed the sleep if I crashed like that.

Really, my mom’s already worried. So I’ll have to discuss the insomnia with my doctor when I’m back in the States again. Because it’s beyond just “inconvenient” anymore and into the territory of “life disrupting”.

However, tea helps. Not green tea. I like green tea, it’s good, especially jasmine green tea…but I don’t drink it a lot. It isn’t strong enough. I live on black tea. And every woman in my family loves tea, though I drink the most of it by far. Between my junior and senior years of high school I got to the point where I was drinking an average of 10 cups of tea a day. My doctor had a fit when she found out and insisted I cut back and stop drinking all tea whatsoever. She swore that the “recent uptake in caffeine from tea-drinking” was the cause of my frequent and awful migraines. Now, I’d been drinking that much tea for over a year before the rash of migraines, so I figured that was crap. And I got extremely sick and worse migraines when she told me I was only allowed to drink decaf and I listened. So after three weeks of no tea I gave up and went back to drinking my tea, though in all fairness I cut back to 4 cups a day.

Now, 4 years later, I’m at an average 3-5 cups a day. My friends like to drink tea when they need an energy boost. And none of them will touch it after 5pm. It “keeps them awake”. Which, in theory makes a lot of sense. However, I’ve learned that drinking a cup or 2 of black tea helps ease my insomnia. My doctor swears that it’s not true, but since I’m the one who lives with it, I think I know in this case a bit better. It’s almost (and this is just my opinion as to me myself, not fact) as though I’ve gotten rather immune to the caffeine in black tea. Not immune per say, but, well, it just doesn’t affect me a lot anymore. So while my friends can’t touch tea after a certain hour, I can have a cup or 2 right before going to sleep at 11pm and still sleep excellently for 6-7 hours. And actually, it does seem to help the insomnia when I have tea.

But then that made me think. Because whether it is purely mental or not, tea does help my insomnia. It helps calm me and relax me. And I can always use that, because my mind naturally runs in a dozen different directions, all at once. Which explains why I can’t really just calm down, focus on myself and get anything done. My mind is just naturally far too frantic. But, if I want to do better with witchcraft and the like, I need focus, calm and to just be less frantic. I figure I need to center myself, make sure that I’m not in 20 places at once. Focusing inwards, I guess is how I think of it. And I don’t know why it never occurred to me before, but I should have thought of drinking tea before doing this, because it always works for “normal life” stuff, so why wouldn’t it work for my spiritual/witchcraft stuff?

Which means it’ll be experiment time once I’m back home and settled. It might make things a bit easier and less chaotic. And, it actually is quite a brilliant idea for myself, so I’m going to attempt it. After all, if it works – I have an excellent new way to help keep myself on track and focused. Might even help me with meditation, now that I’m writing this out. So that’s a new plan, to try and see if this helps with the centering, relaxing, calming and focusing.


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I'm a bibliophile who loves collecting books. Definite cat person. Amateur historian and major geek, who loves all things Tolkien and Star Trek. I'm also fluent in German.

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